The Union are now 0-4-2 in their last 6 games, their last victory came back on August 27th versus Sporting KC. A spot in the playoffs could have been clinched in the Union either won or tied against Orlando (along with other results around the league) but they failed with a 2-0 loss to Orlando. However, there is some good news for the Union (to be talked about later in the article).
The First half of this game was a dull one. Neither team could break down the other and create good chances for themselves. The Union controlled more of the possession but failed to test Orlando’s goalkeeper Joe Bendik. A penalty kick could have been given to the Union after an Orlando defender took CJ Sapong down without going for the ball, but the ref decided that there was no foul on the play.
Again in the second half, both teams came out slow. Orlando finally broke the deadlock in the 59th minute when Carlos Rivas got behind the Union defense and forced a one on one with Andre Blake. Blake was able to get an arm onto Rivas’ shot but a few Orlando bounces saw the ball going into the net even after Keegan Rosenberry very late attempt to clear the ball off the line failed. Jim Curtin subbed Ilsinho into the game near the 70th minute and this brought some life to the Union attack. 9 minute later, Orlando got behind the Union defense again but this time Blake made a great diving save to stop Perez Garcia’s shot from going into the net. The Union continued to put pressure on Orlando but couldn’t muster a good chance on goal, most of their shots ended up being weak efforts that Joe Bendik could easily control. In the dying moments of the game, Orlando put the cherry on top with a goal from Julio Baptista to put Orlando up 2-0.
There is some good news for the Union even with this loss and that is New England Revolution has a huge hole to climb out of if they want to steal the last playoff spot from the Union next week. The Union currently sits in 6th place, with the Reovltuion only 3 points behind. A win or a tie next week against the Red Bulls would get the Union into the playoffs. A loss for the Union and a win for New England would see both teams with the same amount of points. The tie breaker would do nothing in this scenario as both teams will have 11 wins to end the season. The second tie breaker is goal differential. The Union’s goal differential sits at -1 while New England sits at -12. As long as the Union don’t give up 12 goals next week or New England scores 12 goals, the Union should be adding to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.
The last game of the regular season comes next week when the Union host the New York Red Bulls at home.